Monday, December 31, 2012

on the brink

As any true domestic goddess knows (and I've never claimed to be one :), a room and it's decor is never really "done."  There are always one or two little things you might have in the back of your mind that would really make a room perfect, but, as with life, home-making is a journey-not a destination.  That said, 3 rooms in our home are right on the brink of "done, " or as done as I expect them to be in the near or distant future.  While I've been tempted to share some of the smaller projects along the way, I'm glad I haven't.  Two of the rooms are so close I can taste it and some items on my birthday wish list and a little handy-work from my husband will complete them.
Sooooooo, to tide us over, and because I happened to get 3 WS (Williams-Sonoma) brand catalogs on the same day, I thought I'd share some new things I love from these crisp new catalogs on the brink of a fresh New Year.

Room View 
Without giving too much away about our bedroom, I love these very dark blue printed sheets from West Elm and the big white euro squares with them.  I will definitely be taking advantage of the January white sales to finish our bed.

Detailed View
I love these Nomad shams in the slate and navy also from West Elm and in the euro square.

This is the side chair in our upstairs living room that I have never loved (my husband had it before me) but also don't strongly dislike.  I often daydream about replacing it though that is VERY far down on our list of priorities.  If I did, these would be two top contenders..........

Room View
the West Elm Sedgwick Recliner in licorice

or....... (drum-roll please)

Detailed View

"The softer side of mid-century style. The Everett Chair's low-slung profile and compact size make it a natural choice for smaller spaces, though it’s just as good at commanding attention in bigger ones, too. The simple silhouette gives it a relaxed, but still-sophisticated look." 
The perfect size. perfect color. I swoon.  At $499 it is reasonable but will only be coming to our home if West Elm decides no one on earth loves it as much as I do and puts it on mega-clearance.

Some other fun things from the new West Elm Market........

Detailed View Detailed View

And from Williams-Sonoma:

Herringbone Stripe Runner, Grey

This beautiful herringbone linen table runner in a warm gray that comes standard in 108"-perfect length!!

Jars Cantine Salad Plates, Set of 4 
Oh how I covet this new handmade Cantine dinnerware! I said it in my last house and it bears repeating-it is a darn good thing I have a little kitchen!! I already have 2 sets of everyday dinnerware and two and half sets of nice china so this is the last thing I need but that gray and orange would look SO great with my new kitchen colors......ah, to dream!  At nearly $30 per dinner plate, this collection will likely remain just that-a dream :).

Finally, one fun thing from Pottery Barn...............

Alternate View 
The newest catalog showed this inside though I instantly thought of it for our backyard.  When I looked on-line I saw that they also showed it outside.  It is a great inspiration for a recycle of an old buffet or something.  I will have to start hunting.

I wish the Happiest of New Years to all my dear readers and people stopping by!  My resolutions are not difficult and I hope will make me a better and more fulfilled person.  I will share the first when we reveal our master bedroom and the second in the fall when we have experienced all the seasons.  
Warm wishes that 2013 is your best year yet!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

outdoor decor

With a new home for the holidays we had blank slate for holiday decor.  We also had the new challenge of brick to hang everything from.  We are learning a lot with each project.  This one also required my husband to install an outlet in the roof of the porch as our nearly 90 year old home has no exterior outlets-yep, not one!!
We had a lot of fun decorating over Thanksgiving weekend during unseasonably warm temps.  I think next year we may take advantage of our fun roof line with some white lights but we were happy with our inaugural display.  Merry Christmas!

The smell of the fresh wreath greeting us and guests with each entrance has been magical.  I used the same Crate and Barrel pine cone ornaments the are in the pallet box and on the mantel to help tie the decor together.  Finding a wired gross-grain ribbon in the perfect cranberry color proved impossible so our bow is a relaxed one.

We needed more garland here than in our previous home and can't find a match so I tied the two together by borrowing decor from one and moving it and adding cranberries and pine cones to both.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

antique ornaments

I was blessed recently with some antique glass tree ornaments.  In the midst of a tough day, these beauties on fresh snow made a world of difference.

These 3 are my favorites.....................

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday Hearth

Ok, so it's more of a holiday mantel as our 2" wood hearth hardly qualifies.  I've always been drawn to cranberry and silver in my holiday decor but was forced away from it by oak beyond my control for a couple of years in our last home.

This year it's back and better than ever, and nearly every piece of decor is from the Crate and Barrel after Christmas sale over the last ten years or so.
The stockings are from Pottery Barn and are still available in the same style.
This year the pine boughs were free at Lowe's but they are SO SO dry.  We have delayed getting our tree because of the dryness and the already sad state of my natural wreath and boughs.  I soaked them overnight in the tub in lukewarm water as this helps them get one last drink before drying out, but our arid climate, altitude and current drought are just too much.  I may end up modifying the mantel before the new year to relieve us of the dropping needles.

The pallet box makes it's Christmas debut.

Although it's no longer available at C&B, I did notice similar garland at Tarjay this year.


What are your favorite color combos in holiday decor?  And what's your "can't-miss" store for after-holiday decor bargains?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Printables

I have SO much Holiday decor to show but have a few new additions from Nana's Warehouse to add before I share.  Have you shopped there before? I highly recommend it!
I do have my fun and festive holiday printables out and wanted to share the love and link:).  It's hard to say whether I love the sentiment of Dr. Suess' The Grinch Who Stole Christmas or the movie Elf more, but luckily I didn't have to choose.  I had planned these two to go together offset over the bar but they found new and better homes.  You can buy the very inexpensive printables here and I got my frames at Aaron Brothers, who since they've been bought by Michael's have 50% off coupons on their website ALL THE TIME.  

The "green grinch" sits atop a table in our basement family room that I hadn't even planned on decorating.  I got the cute colorful garland at Crate and Barrel on December 26th last year and now I know why!

I LOVE the height of this graphic with a heavy white top and that my son has not broken it like the two frames before it that housed people pictures that he had to kiss all day and inevitably dropped.

I snagged this 1960 BHG beauty while cleaning out my Grandma's house this spring.  One of these days I'm going to tackle some of the projects in it-just not in a skirt and apron.

I really heart the juxtaposition of the modern printable and vintage mag.  They both make me smile many times a day.  The more my decor does that, the more a "must" it becomes!

Happy Printing All!! The site has some great everyday printables and some for other holidays too!

Monday, November 26, 2012


We don't have to wait for Christmas after-all!! Thanks to a fantastic West Elm sale and my lucky look to make sure the light I loved didn't happen to be a part of it, our Christmas gift from my Mom came early and we'll all get to enjoy it over the holidays.  I asked for your votes and thoughts in this post, and Marta was spot-on with her comment:

"I pick number 3. It has a hint of rustic feel that would match the other light fixtures but feels modern and elegant at the same time."

One recurring theme and tool in any small space planning is to choose furniture and fixtures that the eye can see beyond.  Elevated furniture, glass tables, and open floors that aren't cluttered with rugs all help achieve this goal.  So, while light #2 in the inital post was probably my favorite on it's own, #3 is fantastic for our small space.  I also wanted something with a less defined shape as we move the dining table in and out depending on the number of guests.  The West Elm Staggered Chandelier does a great job of "moving" with the table and the open arms don't stop the eye.  I also like the soft diffused light these shades put out.

I'm hosting two holiday gatherings in the coming weeks and I'm so excited for the new light and mirror and how they pull this space together.  Thanks Mom!!

Finally, here is the dining space when we looked at the house.  It's amazing the big impact small differences can make.........


almost after

Monday, November 12, 2012

wrapping under a rock?

Though I've long LOVED wrapping Christmas gifts, I believe I've been doing it under a rock.  I have for several years now, used double-stick scrap-booking roller tape (when I'm at home and have it) to make seamless tape free closures.  Only yesterday did it dawn on me that the same tool could be used for perfect bow placement!!  With just a little "blip," if you will, here and, you can set any ribbon or embellishment to stay wherever you like.  I used it yesterday for gross-grain ribbon, curling ribbon and raffia.  Just a friendly tip as the wrapping season begins in case you also have been under a rock all these years :).

The definition just gives the bow life, don't you think? 
 (thank goodness my mother doesn't read this blog)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

HOMEGOODS History Lesson

If you are unfamiliar with TJ Maxx's sister, Homegoods, do yourself a favor and meet! I have long loved this store and love that famous designers and celebrities alike often sing it's praises.  More than once Homegoods has taught me an important history lesson, "if you do not buy this thing you like TODAY, it will be GONE tomorrow!"  My iPhoto library if full of pictures of things I snapped with my phone to think about or go home and measure for only to find they were gone-sometimes within hours.  So dear readers, repeat after me, "if I like it, I will buy it! I can always return it!"

Thankfully I learned this lesson some time ago, so I scored on an awesome mirror for the dining room last Friday.
A little back-story first though.  I've been lusting after this bad boy for several months........

this Pottery Barn beauty is $700 big ones, or was it $800?

Whether it was 7 or 8 hundred was no matter because I wasn't willing to pay that much.  I've got a kid to send to college afterall! There were a few DIY tutorials on-line but none were quite right and I discovered that to effectively copy would cost about $200 plus a lot of time.  So I sent an email to some fellow Homegood's goddess' to be on the lookout and went about my merry home-making business.

But last Friday during a quick stop because I was nearby, fate brought us together.......

My husband loved her too and said we could make room for her even if she didn't fit in her initially intended home.  (Those are big words in our Tiny Tudor!)  After a couple hours of brilliant engineering to move the thermostat, she was home.  (Have I mentioned I am blessed with a husband with a brilliant mechanical mind?  If he doesn't know how it works, he will soon enough)

I love her and she was less than half of the lowest possible DIY price. The thermostat had to be moved to the right hand side of the archway.  I'm VERY excited for how the new chandelier and paint will look with this mirror, but afraid we'll all have to wait for Christmas for that reveal.

I love how the light is reflected from the adjacent french doors and how the mirror helps define the dining space.

Here is a link to the newly-discovered Homegoods blog.  What are your favorite home-goods haunts?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Coat Closet (of sorts)

None of the 3 urban homes we tried to buy had coat closets!! Believe it or not! Talk about a modern home feature you take for granted.  I remember as a kid going to people's houses that lived near where we do now and the master bed always being the make-shift coat closet.  While we'd love to add one when we expand or have a space for a large wardrobe near the door, what we have now works remarkably well.  

There are 2 coat racks behind the door which still has full clearance to open.  The leather bench beneath the window opens to house our purses, helmets, diaper bag and hats, gloves, and scarves.  It also doubles as great seating.

Here you can see the lower rack for little people gear that is also a great learning tool.

Thanks to a basket divider, the bench stays pretty-well organized.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Printable

Last night was Halloween and we wanted to head out having fun and trick-or-treating with our little one, but wanted to leave candy out too.  I came across a great free printable to stick in the back of the bowl on our porch.  Our candy was gone by the time we got home and I'll never know if people were honest about taking just one or not but I sure wouldn't mess with Karma on a night like Halloween! There is a great blog post with a link to the free printable here.

I sadly didn't get a picture that does it justice,  but I also did a last minute cover for the little table we set our candy on.  I took a white kitchen trash bag and pulled it over the table and cut out black eyes and a mouth to make a ghost.  It was simple and took less than two minutes but really made the table and porch more fun for the little ghouls and goblins.

I hope your Halloween was a happy and safe one!

Monday, October 29, 2012


There is A LOT going on right now in our Tiny Tudor.  A little cut here, a little paint there. ;)  I'm just waiting to complete a couple things before revealing any posts and pictures and do apologize for the slow-down in posting.  
As we enjoy our new neighborhood, we I am constantly on the prowl for expanded tudors that inspire.  As our neighborhood is also full of "scrapes" that have been re-built to look like period homes, Ryan and I often argue about whether homes have been expanded or are all new construction.
He did disagree with me on this one, but it is a beautiful expansion........

.....originally built in 1941, so- young compared to our house.  Everything above and to the left of the front door is new. This home is on the same size lot as ours and was purchased in 2004 and expanded.  I have been keeping a list of addresses on my phone with hopes of finding pictures on-line, but thankfully for all our privacy, the pictures are scarce.  Now that I know the pics are up to me, I will try to snap more, however stealthily.  My hope is to use this blog to collect ideas and to point out things I like and don't like about the renovations and expansions I collect.
Mostly I wanted to let you all know I'm still here and there is lots of fun to reveal.....very soon!